The Phoenix Suns ticket price increase is a necessary evil

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Ivan Romano/Getty Images) /

“Well, tax money shouldn’t be going to sporting arenas anyway.”

I’m not going to argue with you here. In an ideal, sports ownership Utopia, billionaires should pay for their own stadiums and arenas.

But a few things: most notably we do not live in Utopia and have must work with the cards we have been dealt. In this case, the city of Phoenix owns Talking Stick Resort Arena and the Phoenix Suns simply rent it out.

In 2019, the team extended said lease until 2037. If the team breaks that lease, they are subject to a $200 million fine.

This might be a bad analogy, but let’s say I own a home and rent it out to a great tenant for 25 years. Then, the tenant says, “This place is getting outdated. I want to do some renovations on it.” Then it would be incumbent on me as the landlord to foot the bill for all of the renovations.

In the case of the Phoenix Suns renting out Talking Stick Resort Arena, the renter is paying for 35 percent of these renovations (plus building a casita in the backyard in the form of a practice facility).

Side note: as part of the renewed lease agreement, the Suns’ rent went up around $1.5 million.

And if it makes you feel any better, the $150 million the city is putting up comes from a 1% hotel tax and a 2% car rental tax, two taxes that are largely paid by out-of-state visitors rather than in-state residents.

Of course, that money could be going to any number of other public ventures, but perhaps the non-sports lovers can rest assured little to none of their own tax dollars will help fund it, depending on how many staycations they take.